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Madonna della Pace, Albisola Superiore, Savona, Liguria, Italy

Commemorated on October 12
Madonna della Pace, Albisola Superiore, Savona, Liguria, Italy
This idea, expressed by P.Dominique Pire, Nobel Prize for Peace in 1958, reminds us that we, the citizens of the world, we share responsibility for what happens both in our midst, both in distant lands, as victories and defeats, hate and love, are products of human life. If in the world there are wars and violence, it is because we, that our small community (family, factory, office ...), we are not available to the encounter with the other. It is certainly easier to say you want to make peace with the remote, which does not live in peace with its neighbors.
Of this notice, at one time, the inhabitants of two villages quarrelsome neighbors, Albisola and Stella, in the province of Savona. Between the two towns there are forests and soils with uncertain boundaries, fought stubbornly to both: each believes to be right and be in the right, and then fight to the blood.
As always happens when everyone is convinced they are right, the inhabitants of Albisola and Stella did not meet to find a peaceful solution to the dispute.
The mayors spoke of Savona and Varazze, but in vain; are rejected the orders of the Senate of Genoa, and even the Bishop of Savona, chosen as a peacemaker, is rejected, rather it is suspected of partisanship, because native of Albisola.
The contest lasts for years in a violent manner, including killings and injuries; October 4, 1482 in a clash between those Albisola and Stella are counted seven dead and three wounded.
The two communities are at a decisive solution: the weapons will put an end to the dispute, giving reason to the strongest. They fix the time and place for the competition: October 18th, in the plain where now stands the shrine.
The story tells us of the fact, featured with strong strokes of color and excitement, by Giovanni Bernardo Poggi in the manuscript of the "Memoirs." A huge chestnut, divided in the middle by Riobasco, is the venue for the conflict. The armed, arrived on the spot, lined up to the right of those Albisola, and those to the left of the Star, with both head their respective mayors. Two hours before noon, two columns of Albisola advance, but must retire, with few casualties from both sides. Immediately starts a real bloody attack, with ups and downs. The sky is completely cloudless, when an hour after noon, a cloud from the east is white, so bright that it seems that all the rays of the sun are collected in it. Stops high in the middle of the conflict.
Dazzled by the light, the fighters suspend the scuffle and heard a clear voice, sweet and heavenly, which repeats three times the word "peace", then fades away and disappears. Everyone is stunned, with an eye to the sky! Then with signs of repentance, breaking arms, stretch out your hands and hug.
The Statutory Auditors for the first meet and proclaim: "Let peace between us! Everyone give a sign of reconciliation. " The battlefield is transformed into the field of peace and friendship.
All believe that Madonna has finally accepted the many prayers addressed to you for the pacification of the two communities. The chronicles report that "the priests and people unfit to arms were resorted to public and private prayer, and Albisola, Bishop Borzero had exposed the Blessed Sacrament, had celebrated it and his priests, the Mass in which, to the other prayers had joined the pro peace, then they recited the Rosary of Mary and her litanies sung for the peace of mind that their people and harmony with each other of the Star. "Madonna has finally received many prayers and brought the gift of peace.
A confirmation of the mediation of Our Lady of pacifying you in 1573. Until that date, the relationship between the two communities remain in good harmony, but ripullulano year old quarrels.
"Pastors of souls - writes historian Spotorno - resorted again to the means of prayer. The day the faithful March 25 Albisola and Stella went with devout procession to beg the Mother of Peace and Ella got that deposed the hatred, to come back to the union and tranquility primitive. "Since peace was really durable.
Even other circumstances, through the ages, take it conveys the devotion to Our Lady of Peace of the inhabitants of Albisola and Stella, confident that occur to you during difficult times. An outbreak in 1485 affecting the surrounding villages, but spare the population of Albisola and Stella, the protection of Our Lady of Peace is also manifested during the plague of 1504, 1523, and 1656.
The message that comes from the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace, is nothing if not the message of Bethlehem, sung by the angels on the hut on Christmas Eve:
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests", or what went by the risen Jesus to the Apostles, "Peace be with you."
The Sanctuary "Our Lady of Peace" reminds us that peace is a gift from the sky, it is also the result of the good will of all and is constantly to be redone where it has been compromised. It is a well transmitted by inheritance, but given to everyone, individuals and communities, to be maintained, expanded and consolidated.
This is especially true now that the boundaries of peace are no longer peasants, but the world: peace should always be sought and maintained. It is linked to the good will of the individual and all. Nothing undermines the sake of peace! The disputes are not resolved through violence, but through dialogue, aware that we are all children of the same Father in heaven.
Don Mario Morra
Source: magazine "Mary Help of Christians", September 2005
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In the Sanctuary, from 1482 to 1919, various religious orders have followed, such as custodians, contributing to make a center of prayer and devotion to Mary. In 1919 this material and spiritual heritage passed to the Priests of the Sacred Heart (SCJ), who placed here the seat of their novitiate. This presence has fostered a climate of silence, prayer and inner peace. In the spirit of ecclesial sensibility, p.Dehon left by the founder to his sons in 1975, at the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace, the religious community has opened its doors to those wishing to take a break and a spiritual experience. 
It 'was the genesis of the Center for Spirituality - Shrine of Our Lady of Peace, to meet the growing need of our time that the church warns of places and times of the spirit.



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